"The Teacher stood at the mouth of the cave and gazed up at the midnight sky. Stars like jewels shone out over the freezing Afghan desert. Deep inside the caverns behind him, his followers were gathered around warm fires, talking quietly and preparing to sleep.
From beyond the memory of living man this land had been a waste land. Once again the foreigners had come with their killing machines and alien ways. In response the zealots, with their AK-47s and home-made bombs, led young men astray in a suffocating blanket of dogmatic conformity.
The Teacher had been ignored for so long, condemned as an apostate and a heretic. Yet recently the war-weary population had begun to turn to him, crowds gathered where he preached his message of charity, sharing and selflessness. Tomorrow he and his band of followers would go to the Capital, and perhaps the masses would choose his way.
The Teacher looked up and saw a bright meteor-trail in the velvet western sky. Unlike the sin and ugliness on the ground, in the heavens there was only beauty."
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You will not be surprised to discover that the meteor-trail is not entirely what it seems.